Bucket List Check: Road Trip to California

My bucket list has a definite theme: TRAVEL. When I look back on my life, I want it to look like a map of the world that's stuck with hundreds of pins marking all the places I've seen.

This is it so far...I've got a lot of work to do!

This is it so far...I've got a lot of work to do!

But my list doesn't just have destinations; it also has methods of travel. This past weekend I was able to check one of those off as my husband and I embarked on our longest road trip to date: 12 hours to Sonoma Valley, California.

To some of you more seasoned travelers out there, this may seem like nothing. I have friends who have road tripped from Utah to the East Coast and back, and yeah, that's pretty dang impressive. But we all have to start somewhere, right? Kelly and I are used to short 2-hour trips to buy lottery tickets across the state line or to visit his family, and we even toured with my old band The Fully Blown but we broke that up into smaller chunks (the longest being Salt Lake to Vegas in 8 hours). This was the longest single shot we've ever attempted.

And to be honest...it was way easier than I'd thought! We switched drivers every 2 hours, making good use of Flying J, TA, and Love's travel stops. We also listened to a couple of audiobooks from the Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust (one of my favorite series ever!) as read by the fantastic Bernard Setaro Clark, and those kept us nicely entertained.

Our stay in California was so incredibly nice. Maybe it was the food and the wine. Maybe it was the fact that I actually, really, truly took time away from work and didn't do so much as check my email the entire time I was there. But probably it was because of the wonderful company of my aunt, uncle, and cousin who let us stay with them and showed us some of their favorite spots around the valley. Whatever it was, we'll be going back. At first we said, "Let's do this every year!" and then we said, "Let's do this twice a year!" and now we're wondering exactly how much it would cost to go every few months or so.

It feels pretty great to knock that off my bucket list. But now, of course, I've replaced that entry with a few other (more ambitious) trips. I have friends and family scattered across the country, and now I'm wondering exactly how far our little VW Rabbit can take us.

What's on your bucket list, and where are your favorite places to travel? I want to know!